Some authors think of tweeting as just another chore, but I find the site invaluable for connecting with readers and sharing publishing industry news with other authors. Book reviewers find me on Twitter. So do families that have adopted children, as I have.
Do I spend endless hours on Twitter? No. My work day revolves around a strict writing schedule. But I do find time throughout the week to spend several minutes catching up with friends in the Twitterverse.
Wondering how you can quickly increase your followers? It’s easy.
Engage. If you’re simply lurking, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity to connect with friends who may become readers of your book. Pull something out of the main feed and comment. Send a tweet in the form of a question to encourage others to respond. Try to respond to most of the people who mention you in a tweet. Congratulate a twitter friend on a recent success, commiserate, tweet a tongue-in-cheek response—use every opportunity possible to show the flesh and blood person behind the persona.
No eggheads, please. Use a professional, attractive photo. Social media is social, and people want to know they’re interacting with a human being. Reserve the avatar of your favorite comic book character for your computer wallpaper. It doesn’t belong on Twitter.
Provide Useful Content. Twitter is a large, boisterous cocktail party. If you have something interesting or helpful to say, people will listen. Prior to writing fiction I owned a PR firm, and my past expertise often leads to blog posts (like this one) tailored to help other writers.
Follow Back. This should be obvious. Unless the follower strikes you as bizarre, follow back. Use a program like http://justunfollow.com to accept the follows of many people quickly, and unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow back within several days.
Follow First. Don’t be shy—if you’re tweeting with a friend and others jump into the conversation, follow them. Or search hashtags for topics of interest. I’m an adoptive mother and have met many similar families on Twitter through #parenting and #adoption. I’m also a middle-aged gym rat and meet other like-minded souls through #exercise, #healthy and #relax.
Balance Your Stream. Send out a variety of promotional, helpful, timely and amusing tweets. Avoid programming an overwhelming number of “Buy my book” pleas with no interaction peppered in between. Don’t retweet constantly without engaging from time to time.
Have Fun. If you view Twitter as yet another chore on the self-publishing road, you’re missing the platform’s sheer power and connectivity. I’ve met fascinating people from across the globe. Many of my Twitter friends have gone on to purchase my books, offer to review or lend advice in one of my areas of interest. With an investment of several minutes each week, you’ll enjoy the same success.
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